2021 Invasive Phragmites Management. Georgian Bay Forever Report.

36 Georgian Bay Forever Phragmites Report 2021 Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Association (NVCA) Collingwood Since 2014, the NVCA has organized the “Fight the Phrag” community effort in Collingwood to conduct Phragmites removal. In 2021, the project continued for a 7th year with funding support from GBF and in-kind support from other local groups and municipalities. From 2014-2021, 445 volunteers have contributed over 2500 hours to help remove over 16 ,000 kg of invasive Phragmites from Collingwood’s shorelines. The NVCA used gas-powered hedge-trimmers on large monoculture stands and shears/clippers for manual removal of sparse stands growing amongst native vegetation. The main focus of the 2021 field season was at Rupert’s Landing, Highway 26, Black Ash Creek, The Cove and Lighthouse Point. The NVCA cut approximately 1300m2 of Phragmites weighing at a total of 1190 kg. In addition, 19 volunteers from the community got involved dedicating a total of 91 hours over the season. A special shout out by GBF to Stella Juhasz - a donor and volunteer for Georgian Bay Forever and the Blue Mountain Watershed Trust (great Phragbuster helpers and leaders in Collingwood). Stella has been very active and passionate leader and worker in eradicating invasive Phragmites. Ministryof Transportation– Progress but still gaps Part of protecting management investments made is implementing or improved road management by all stakeholders. GBF and its partners have made many efforts on progressively increasing MTO participation over the years. 2021 efforts included “Invasive Phragmites Road Management: A Webinar for Municipalities and First Nations in the Georgian Bay Area.” – hosted by GBF and Township of the Archipelago (ToA), which included Dr. J. Gilbert, Invasive Phragmites Control Centre, speaking about techniques, but also involved an update by MTO (efforts in 2020 for some areas in the general Georgian Bay/Muskoka area, and their plan in 2021), and important location information from the Georgian Bay Land Trust. To watch the webinar, visit: Part 1: https://youtu.be/NtpUK_0BGV8 and Part 2: https:// youtu.be/rQfqddBrpJk. Within the webinar, MTO noted what they did in 2019, 2020 and planned to in 2021 (which need to be confirmed). Essentially, they noted that they would update the Phragmites inventory where needed and retreat any 2020 areas as required and do some expansion. There is good progress, but it is hard to understand whether they are getting to 5% of the problem or 95% of the problem (eg. what about secondary highways and where are these roads?). Transparency is an issue, and you will also note communication to local stakeholders continues to be much less than needed as you will notice from the responses to poll questions to municipal and First Nations attendees (noted below).